Summer League Standout No. 3: Sam Merrill
Sam Merrill is one of the more veteran players on this Summer League team and has played with the Cavs in the past. Right now, Merrill is absolutely lighting it up from the outside. As I’ve already mentioned this is like a professional AAU tournament so while it’s exciting to see him swish the ball through the hoop, the defense and the competition that he’s playing against isn’t exactly what he’d face in the NBA regular season.
However, he has really done some great things in this tournament this last week. He started with 15 points in the first contest against the Nets. He went 3-of-9 on three-pointers in that game. Then in Game 2 against the Raptors he went for 14 points, including knocking down four from beyond the arc.
Finally, the former Utah State sharpshooter got Cavs Nation talking in the blowout win against the Grizzlies when he went for 27 points by nailing eight three-pointers in only 21 minutes of playing time. That’s a way to make your mark in these games and it could have the Cavs seriously considering adding Merrill’s name to the Wine and Gold’s season roster.
Cleveland certainly needs some shooters. They did pick up a couple of new free agents including veteran Max Strus from the Miami Heat but Merrill is more of a guard and Cleveland needs some real depth behind both Garland and Mitchell.
Merrill is certainly a confident kid and when you listen to him interviewed he’s all about basketball and getting better. Maybe that attitude and determination will earn him that roster spot with the Cavs this fall.